What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Brake Booster?
Brake boosters provide the power assist to the brake master cylinder during braking.
So, bad brake boosters can cause problems with the engine vacuum and result in a costly repair of your braking system. It’s a good idea to be on the lookout for any symptoms of a faulty brake booster.
Here’s what they look like:
1. Problems With The Brake Pedal
Faulty brake boosters will result in various issues with your brake pedals, including hard or stiff power brakes that are difficult to press down and increased stopping distance.
This may be due to a failing vacuum pump or hydraulic pressure pump.
You may also find that your brake pedal is positioned higher than usual. As a result, you may have to lift your foot higher to press on the brake pedal, apply more force, or press it more often to slow down the vehicle.
2. Fluid Leaks
A fluid leak isn’t always physically visible unless you inspect your engine compartment. If your brake fluid levels remain consistently low, even after refilling them, you may want to check for internal leaks.
One way to do that is by inserting a clean engine dipstick inside the booster vacuum check valve. If the dipstick comes out with any liquid residue, your car probably has a brake fluid leak.
Occasionally, you may notice other signs including a triggered check engine light or pooling of the fluid near the car wheels.
3. Engine Noise And Stalling
A bad brake booster can result in engine stalling and reduced engine performance. If your brake system is vacuum operated, you may even notice hissing sounds when you depress the power brakes.
This sound is caused by a vacuum leak within the vacuum booster.
A brake booster problem such as a vacuum leak can also cause other problems like a cracked engine vacuum line, leading to a costly repair.
4. Warning Lights Are On
Depending on your vehicle type and its built-in safety features, you may notice your warning light or brake light illuminated on the dashboard.
Most commonly, your Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) light may turn on to indicate a faulty brake booster. Apart from the ABS light, your brake light, check engine light, or stability control lights may also show up on the dashboard.